Fort Bend County: Sugar Land, Richmond, Missouri City
It seems almost every other month or so another “master planned community” begins development in Fort Bend County, Texas – home of Sugar Land, Richmond and Missouri City to name a few. With these developments comes the need for more electric transmission and distribution – and upgrades. With new subdivisions sprouting up in rural areas, some of the existing, major transmission lines find themselves uncomfortably close to the distribution lines below that are servicing the new neighborhoods. What to do? CenterPoint calls Mesa.
Working the first of two, 12-mile, 138kV lines, Mesa gets to work. One side of the system is de-energized, allowing the other side to carry the load in the early fall when demand is below peak. The Mesa team starts at one dead-end right beside the neighborhood substation, building new foundations for the transmission towers that will add 10 feet of height to each. Alongside each tower, Mesa drills 15-foot holes and places two temporary steel poles to hold the lines. The lines are removed from the main tower and placed on their temporary homes, where exacting line tension is maintained. This continues at each tower until the next-dead end is reached 12 miles later.
That completed, CenterPoint re-energizes the line, and de-energizes the other side. The process repeats as Mesa works its way back to the substation. The transmission towers, now temporarily freed of carrying the load, are lifted onto their upgraded foundations. Then, one by one, the 138kV lines are reattached to their home towers reconductored, and ready for service–with an additional 10 feet of necessary clearance.